Oral health is an integral part of overall health. It not only affects our appearance but also affects our overall health and well-being. Good oral health is essential to overall well-being. On the other hand, there are certain other bad habits that can harm our oral health. Here are some of them.
Nail biting is a common bad habit that can be damaging to your teeth. If you habitually bite your nails, you are putting your teeth at risk. The damage usually occurs around and under the tip of the affected tooth. Your enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but constant pressure and chewing can wear it away over time. The enamel helps to protect your dentin and pulp from bacteria that can cause inflammation, swelling, and pain. If left untreated, decay can develop under the gum line and cause serious complications such as tooth loss or infection.
Many people know that smoking cigarette or cigars and pipes are bad for your overall health. But did you know that it can affect your oral health too? Cigarette smoke consists of more than 4,000 chemicals, including formaldehyde, cyanide, arsenic, lead, ammonia, and more. All of these toxins are absorbed by your lungs and carried throughout your body. The oral tissues are also affected and exposed to these harmful substances every time you inhale the smoke. These substances can cause oral cancer as well as gum disease – two of the most common oral health concerns.
In addition to cancer and gum disease, smoking can also increase your risk of other health problems such as stroke, heart disease, vascular disease, infertility, lung disease, and even diabetes.
When people don’t brush their teeth properly or consistently, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. However, if you brush at an aggressive speed, you are putting your teeth at risk for damage as well. Aggressive brushing can damage the enamel of your teeth. Enamel is the strongest substance found in the human body and protects our teeth from decay.
If your oral health is good, but you brush with too much force, your enamel can erode over time. This can lead to sensitivity and pain when you drink cold or hot beverages. This can also lead to cavities since your gums will recede and expose the dentin underneath your tooth’s enamel layer. This will weaken your teeth and make them more prone to bacteria buildup and infection.
When a patient comes in for a visit and tells us that they grind their teeth when they sleep, we have a protocol in place to protect both the teeth and the patient from harm. We custom make a mouthguard that will prevent the teeth from touching each other during bruxism episodes. This procedure is certainly worth it to keep the teeth healthy. A mouthguard protects both the longevity of the natural teeth and the restorations, such as fillings or crowns.
The health of gum tissues is also affected by bruxism. Gum tissue can be damaged by the constant pressure of clenching and grinding of the teeth. This can cause gums to recede, exposing the roots of the teeth. This exposes patients to increased tooth sensitivity and even tooth decay. If the damage is severe enough, it can cause tooth loss and the need for an extraction.
Quitting a bad habit like teeth grinding can be difficult, but it is well worth the effort. If your teeth are already being damaged due to grinding or other habits, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Your regular dental visits are an essential part of your dental health maintenance plan. These visits are for cleaning the teeth and for checking for any early signs of decay or disease so they can be treated right away before they become worse. Without these visits, you risk having painful problems down the road that could have been easily prevented with consistent care.
To know more or to schedule your consultation with our dentists, call our Springfield Location at (417) 887-3100 or the Branson West office at (417) 272- 3352.